Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Childhood Nutrition and Obesity: Moving from a National Concern to Coordinated Policies

Obesity in the United States has not always been at the levels we see currently. Whenever I return from an international flight, even at the airport I sense that I have returned to the land of the big. And nowhere is this more glaring than with our children.

Beginning in approximately the mid-1980s, the levels of obesity and excess weight in the US has been a monotonically increasing function.
 These averages, however, hide regional and socio-economic differences: for some sub-populations this is a medical crisis. One of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese, but the obesity epidemic may be stabilizing at this alarming level. Low-income two to four year-olds’ obesity prevalence increased from 12.4 % in 1998 to 14.5 % in 2003 but rose to only 14.6 percent in 2008.

Keeping the Discussion Going after CFCC's Urban Child Symposium on Health and the Urban Child

CFCC’s second Urban Child Symposium, “Health and the Urban Child:  Diagnosing Problems and Prescribing Solutions,” was held last Thursday, April 1, and drew a crowd of approximately two hundred people.  A wide array of people from all professions and walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, judges, activists, academics, mental health professionals, services providers, parents, and other community members, attended and participated.  The audience filled the School of Law’s Moot Courtroom and also watched the action from monitors in the law school lobby.  Our panelists gave thoughtful presentations that covered the gamut of problems and solutions for the health of urban children.  Extensive audience participation created a vibrant conversation about the practical realities of urban child health and some of the steps needed to make improvements.  Congressman Cummings’ keynote luncheon speech was a call to action, encouraging all of us to increase our expectations and work to ensure that all children have what we want for our own children.

CFCC would like to thank all who participated – both as speakers and as audience members, and we encourage everyone interested to keep this lively and important discussion going-- on this blog and in your communities.

One of our conference panelists, Dr. Alan Lyles, will take the lead on continuing the discussion by writing his own blog post about childhood obesity, a topic that he also discussed at the symposium.  Be on the lookout for his guest post!
Also, be sure to check out the discussion on our post about the Health Care Reform Legislation, which includes a comment from another of our conference panelists, Janice Cooper.